Macarons are fragile and fiddly French sandwich cookies, they are made up of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. The options for macarons are endless when it comes to fillings, flavours and colours!There are so many possibilities for the fillings in Macarons however the most challenging task is getting the correct consistency and presentation of the macaron shells.
It can often take several attempts to achieve the best results but usually, they'll taste great whatever they look like. Be patient you'll have to remember that with macarons its 50% presentation and countless hours of research before I was happy with my homemade macarons. The macaron is definitely 50% presentation and 50% bake. Hold tight! Macarons are not completely impossible and it may not be that your recipe is letting you down it depends greatly on the process of folding the dry mixture into the egg whites and the accuracy of the oven temperature. You can gather up numerous recipes online but if you are struggling or just starting out these tips will help you out...
1. Use aged egg whitesBy doing this you de-hydrate them, its results in a harder, stronger meringue. Place your egg whites in a plastic non-porous bowl and cover it in cling film, poke some holes in the cling film and using a toothpick. Put the bowl in the fridge for three days. Take them out after three days and let them get back to room temperature before using them.
2. Get a mat
Try your best to source a Moule Macaron, a silicon mat created specifically for making macarons. You can get a good one from Lakeland, but check out some others. If you can't get a mat, you can use a little trick, draw a template onto greaseproof paper. The great thing about the mat is that the indentations assist you in creating the perfect shape.
3. Get Gel-y!
It's best to use a paste or a gel colour as it can really change the texture of your macarons. Try to add the colour in while whipping the meringue. Never be scared to go a little overboard, when incorporating the almond meal mixture it moderately decreases the strength of the colour. Try Rainbow Dust Pro Gels.
4. Weigh, Weigh, Weigh!
Always weigh your ingredients using a precision scale. Being accurate is crucial! Sadly a little too much or too little can be the deal-breaker between success and failure.
5. Patience is key
Leave the unbaked macarons to sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes before placing them into the oven.
6. And Flex!
Use a flexible spatula when you fold the egg whites with the almonds and sugar! If you fold by continually scraping round the bowl and move into the middle you'll be on to a winner! However, be sure not to do it any more than 50 times as you will overdo it! Essentially when you use to bring it above the bowl using the spatula, you should see it spread but too much!